More than 50% of projects fail to execute . Therefore, many project managers seek to improve their practices so that their projects remain on track and achieve success. To help you on this journey, we have separated 11 good practice suggestions for more efficient project management. Enjoy!
1. Plan the scope of the project in as much detail as possible
The project scope is the document that describes what, why and how the project will be carried out. It will serve as a reference and consultation for everyone involved in the project, so it needs to be detailed as much as possible. It is essential to clearly define what the objectives of the project are, who are responsible for the execution, what resources are needed, what is the deadline and so on.
If this is not done in detail and before the project starts , it is very likely that doubts will arise in the middle of the road and, with communication failures, execution may start to get off track.
2. Make sure that scope changes are validated by the board
Still talking about scope, you need to pay attention to one more detail: the changes. It is natural for changes to be made in the scope during the execution, as obstacles or easier ways to reach the final goal may arise.
The important thing is that the changes made in the scope must be approved by the board, which may have different opinions about the proposed changes. If a change in scope does not go through validation and goes straight to execution, it may be that a director arrives halfway and does not approve it. In this case, the rework will come on the scene and delay the delivery of the project. That’s why it’s so important to get approved first!
3. Identify the limits at the beginning
As important as defining what should be done in the project is determining what should not be done . After all, there are limits that must be respected, such as the amount of human, financial and time resources. Therefore, a good practice in project management is to identify these limits before you even start to execute the project. The scope statement is the best place to describe the project’s boundaries and exclusions. Read more about this in our post on project scope .
4. Determine the risks before starting the project execution
Most projects that fail are not structured and prepared against the risks that may occur during execution. Thus, a fundamental practice for the success of the project is to determine the risks before kick-starting.
Of course, you will not be able to predict everything that can “go wrong” in the execution of the project, since this is practically impossible, but focus on identifying the most likely things to happen to be prevented if the risks are confirmed.
5. Use a schedule
The third suggestion concerns the use of a schedule to monitor the progress of the project, a tool that organizes the activities in the order of execution and that determines the deadline for each one. Amid so many steps, it can be easy to get lost, forget some activity or end up missing important deadlines. The best way to avoid this type of failure is to build a well-structured project schedule, like this:
Want to know how to do this? Take a look at our full text that explains in 5 steps how to make an ideal project schedule , or watch the free webinar how to create a schedule to see the step by step in practice.
6. Have an efficient tool to control the project schedule
Controlling the project schedule with paper and pen is not ideal. In addition to being unviable due to the number of people who need access to the schedule, it is difficult to make changes between the steps in case of a delay or if ahead. We suggest, then, that you use a tool that allows you to control the project schedule, such as Artia.
With Artia , you can create an online schedule accessible to everyone involved, organizing all stages, deadlines and managers in a visual and easy to understand manner.
7. Be sure to use performance indicators
There is no more reliable way to assess the progress of your project than using performance indicators ( KPIs ) . Despite being aware of this, some project managers end up ignoring the need to use indicators and rely only on shallow information to manage the project. The result is a confused management, much more susceptible to failures and delays, which makes the team also work “in the dark”.
By using performance indicators to guide project management, the manager has much more information for decision making, can optimize resources and keep the project on track from start to finish. If you notice that an activity is going to be delayed, for example, you can allocate more people to speed up the work and deliver the result on time.
8. Consider stakeholder expectations
Project stakeholders , that is, stakeholders (both those involved in the work and those who expect results), need to be considered at all stages. It must be remembered that the project has objectives to be met and expectations that need to be met, and the knowledge of these requirements only happens when the project management team identifies each stakeholder.
9. Hold an initial alignment meeting (kick-off)
The success of the project depends a lot on the involvement and commitment of the team. One way to guarantee the alignment of all employees and involve them in the execution of the project is to hold a kick-off meeting , the “ kick-off ” of the project. At this meeting, the project manager should listen to suggestions about the project’s activities, align each other’s goals and responsibilities and foster a friendly atmosphere for teamwork.
One possibility is to hold these meetings outside the work environment, in alternative places, as a way to make those involved more comfortable and comfortable to contribute their opinions.
10. Ask for feedback on your management methods and how to improve them
Knowing the right way to manage a project is not always easy, after all, there is no ready recipe. Each project is a different situation, with different expectations, stakeholders, limits and difficulties, and the GP needs to know how to get around all of them to guarantee the success of the execution.
This leads project managers to test various management methods, trying to find the right measure to manage the project. To find out which works or not the best solution is to ask the project team, ask for feedback and listen to constructive suggestions. Thus, it is natural that with each feedback the GP will improve his methods more and more.
11. Hold a closing meeting to share the lessons learned
In addition to having a meeting to start the project, it is interesting to bring the team together to end it. This meeting can be useful not only to present the results of the work, but also for each member of the project team to share the lessons they learned during the execution.